Posted by Ranga Bodla, Senior Director of Industry Marketing, Manufacturing and Wholesale Distribution

Distributors are relying on ecommerce to acquire new customers and increase sales. Yet they're not satisfied with many aspects of their current ecommerce websites. The results of a recent survey sponsored by NetSuite in partnership with Modern Distribution Management showed what distributors want to achieve from their ecommerce efforts and how they view themselves compared to their competitors. Below are some of the key findings from the report, “The 2014 State of E-Commerce Distribution: The Maturing E-Commerce Channel”.

  • Ecommerce as a percent of overall revenue is rising rapidly. Respondents expect their sales to increasingly move online in 2014, with 20 percent of respondents expecting ecommerce sales to comprise 5 to 10 percent of sales in 2014.
  • Acquiring new customers, growing wallet share with existing customers, and improving the usability of ecommerce sites are top priorities. Nearly 25 percent cited acquiring new customers as a top priority.
  • Distributors are concerned that their own sites lack advanced features. Respondents expressed low levels of satisfaction with more advanced features such as live chat, price quotes and product suggestions.
  • Support for mobile technologies has grown nearly 25 percent in one year, and more than 30 percent intend to implement mobile support in the near future.
  • Catalogues are considered to be an effective method for generating ecommerce sales. Of those with mature ecommerce channels, 73 percent believe catalogues help to drive ecommerce sales.

Distributors must realize that B2B buyers are becoming just as sophisticated and demanding as B2C ones are -- and increasingly represent younger tech-savvy adults moving up into procurement and management roles. Investing in ecommerce is a requirement for every distributor, and the chance to provide a high-quality ecommerce experience for customers before the competitors do is fading fast.

Don’t be left behind. Download the full report, “The 2014 State of E-Commerce Distribution: The Maturing E-Commerce Channel” to gain insight into the objectives and challenges distribution companies say they are faced with around ecommerce today and what it needed to overcome them.